Why do nice guys get friend-zoned?
Ooooh... good question. And, it has a complicated, multi-faceted answer (or answers)
I asked my husband for the guy perspective on this and the following is what he said...But, first...
A little background on my husband... He is one of those nice guys, as you describe and he has been friend-zoned as well. But, he has figured out the art of wooing the female gender. So, somewhere, he figured it out and practiced it. Based on that, his opinion is valuable when it comes to this question.
One of the things that I remember is that guys who were afraid to step across the line (intimacy line) always were the losers. If a group of friends lined up to kiss a girl it was the one who stepped forward who got the kiss.
It goes back to the caveman mentality. For all that women want to say about rights, they want us to come club them over the head, politely, and are really looking for that bravado mentality. Women seem to respond to that. Hey, I got a wife and she is still with me nearly 25 years later, so it must work.
Sometimes the bra strap approach works (grabbing a woman and saying, "Look, woman, you are getting kissed"). If you cross the line too far (or the woman doesn't like it), generally women will let you know.
Nice guys, ultimately, will not cross that line. But, you have to cross the line if you want the response. That is how I learned to go from nice guy to successful guy. I couldn't tell you the number of nice guys I know who have grown old alone because they didn't take the step to cross the line.
Women are never comfortable when we cross the line but they require it for intimacy to happen. I even see that in my wife, even being married. Maybe the girl you kiss will flat out reject you (and maybe she isn't the one for you) and/or slap your face, but her friends will recognize your bravado/caveman behavior as a strong enough male to qualify as a suitor. You ask any woman how their love got them and it is almost never that the woman took the first step in crossing the line of intimacy. It almost always requires the man to take that step, politely. She might slap you but she won't slap you very hard if she wants it and decides to want you. That is where you tip over from being a friend to a potential partner. Nice guys don't get there.
I can honestly say that that is 100% true of me, as a woman. Now, I'm sure that women will disagree and there will be many who will disagree in theory, and even passionately disagree and think I am a horrible woman for posting this.
I can only really and truly speak for myself and it is true. That is how my husband wooed me. And, if you ask anyone who knows my husband, they will say that he isn't "caveman" at all and that he is gentle and kindhearted. In fact, even women where he works come to him because they feel safe. When they are trying to get away from men who are stalking them, they seek out my husband (this has happened more times than I can count!). Now, it does help that they know he is married so they can hang around him (i.e. lunch) and not feel like he is going to make a move.
I would have thought that that "caveman" routine wouldn't work but there is some sort of switch that goes off in a woman's head. It is like we feel safe (if the caveman will be authoritative in coming after us he will protect us from other intruders) and we feel loved (again, if the caveman will step forward to claim us, he must love us).
I think you have gathered that you can take "caveman" too far. You don't want to do anything that is truly aggressive or stalk the girl or anything like that. Not only do I not condone that (and neither does my husband) but you will not attain success in doing so. There has to be a balance. You seem to have the nice guy part down so you only need to add that mentality of bravado. You don't have to completely change your personality. In fact, we women generally like nice guys ;) (Remember, I married one and we have been married for going on 25 years!).
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